Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP)

The Canadian Government has begun a new initiative to foster innovation and commercialization for the Canadian business sector. The Canadian government funding program is a $40 million dollar Canadian Government procurement and acquisition program called the Canadian Innovation and Commercialization Program (CICP).  This business funding initiative will not act directly as a business funding grant; instead, it provides Canadian entrepreneurs with their first contracts and commercialization testing for their innovative and pre-commercialized products or services.

Jump-Start Your Product’s Transfer to Market

The most common obstacles regarding the innovation of new products usually includes the abilities to acquire Research and Development Funding and secure contacts with initial buyers. The CICP program looks to assist entrepreneurs with the latter of these obstacles by offering up to $500K for contracts with one of the federal government agencies for a innovative pre-commercialized product or service. These funds would be used to reimburse the company for their innovation costs and cover the government’s expenses regarding the installation, training, and testing support costs associated with the procurement of the product or service.

The product or service should pertain to one of the Federal Government’s priority areas of interest:

  • Environment:  Products or services that relate to any of the federal government’s possible interactions with air, water, land, or biodiversity.
  • Safety and Security: innovations regarding issues relating to public safety, risk assessment, communication technologies, etc.
  • Health:  Goods or services relating to the improvement of provisions health or sanitation services of the government.
  • Enabling Technologies: This could incorporate a wide variety of technologies that would be usable within federal operations (ICTs, Cloud Computing, Nano or Biotechnologies, etc.)

Product events and tradeshows are available for the entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative concepts and products to federal agency representatives. If your product is chosen, the Canadian government will implement it and then provide testing and feedback regarding the performance and areas of improvement. These types of services can allow entrepreneurs to enter the marketplace with a successful application and reputable track record for their products or services. The company will retain all the rights regarding the IP at the end of this contract and businesses will have the option to lease or sell the technology to the federal agency.

Government Funding for Business Contracts

The CICP was provided with Canadian Government funding to promote the commercialization of innovative products and services by Canadian SMEs. In order to be considered eligible, the businesses and their products must fall into the following criteria:

  • Businesses must operate in Canada
  • At least 80% of the product must be made in Canada. This includes materials and resources used during the manufacturing process.
  • Businesses must have at least an IP Ownership Strategy in place
  • Innovations should apply to one of the priority areas (Environment, Safety and security, Health, Enabling technologies)
  • Products or services must be in the late stages of development; at least in the prototype stage of development and ready for a demonstration in an operational environment.
  • Preference will be shown to state of the art products or services
  • Product or service cannot have previous sales to a market (excluding those for testing purposes)

Next Steps for CICP

The Canadian Innovation and Commercialization Program will have another round of proposals coming up at the end of February 2012. Proposals will be accepted until March 2013. Businesses can receive more information on the application process and upcoming proposal rounds from MERX or Public Works and Government Services Canada.
For businesses who are interested in securing Canadian business funding grants for their R&D projects, please contact Mentor Works, the Canadian Government Funding Experts or subscribe to our E-newsletter located on the right hand side of our website.


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